Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Thank you for supporting NAMIWalks in 2014! 
We hope you have a wonderful New Year that's full of happiness and FUN!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Looking Forward to 2015, By Mary Giliberti, J.D., NAMI Executive Director


It’s no secret that NAMI wants to build a broad movement to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness. In 2014, I could feel the movement growing, especially in trips to meet with grassroots NAMI leaders in such diverse states such as Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Tennessee and Texas. The energy and commitment of NAMI volunteers is always impressive—and essential to the future.

Taken together, many developments in 2014 provide a foundation for 2015 and years ahead. The challenge is to keep building on these opportunities.

· Philanthropist Ted Stanley donated $650 million to the Broad Institute for brain research to potentially develop new treatments. In the words of NAMI’s medical director, Ken Duckworth, it is a new “ ground-breaker” for scientific research on mental illness. Medical science is a cornerstone for NAMI’s commitment to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
· USA Today launched a special series, The Cost of Not Caring , about the inadequate mental health care system which inspired dialogue in communities around the country. NAMI worked closely on the series, helping identify people affected by the issues so their personal stories could educate readers.

· Diverse faith communities increased their focus on the need to help people find treatment for mental health problems. The most dramatic event was "The Gathering" of religious leaders and mental health experts organized by the Saddleback Church, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and NAMI Orange County that provided a nationally significant model for outreach.

· The call for Congress to pass mental health care legislation increased. NAMI sponsored a National Day of Action in which recording artist and actress Demi Lovato participated, amplifying our voice. NAMI also published a state legislative report for 2014, gathering all of the mental health legislation that passed in the past year. We will be continuing our efforts at the state and federal level to meet the objectives of our new strategic plan and address issues such as homelessness, criminalization of people with mental illness, early intervention and treatment, and the needs of service men and women, veterans and their families.

· Along with others, NAMI won an important victory by defeating proposed restrictions on access to medications under Medicare Part D. Protection of shared decision-making by doctors and individuals is a key NAMI value and we will continue our efforts to ensure access to treatment that works.

· Attention increased this year on the need to end the criminalization of mental illness. NAMI helped shape the debate with its call for nationwide expansion of crisis intervention teams (CIT). In 2015, NAMI, the Council of State Governments, the National Association of Counties and others will build on this momentum by launching an unprecedented campaign to lower the number of people with mental illnesses in jails by improving access to effective mental health and co-occurring substance use treatment.

· Major inroads were made with youth and young adults through the NAMI on Campus program, with 85 active clubs on campuses across the country and 240 in the process of being formed. Additionally, NAMI’s Raising Mental Health Awareness on College Campuses toolkit was sent to more than 300 campus communities. Young adults leading these groups and activities are NAMI leaders of the future!

Every movement has many different centers of energy, creativity and commitment. Both large and small events converge to form greater waves of change. Looking back on 2014, are there trends or events that you think provide hope, inspiration or opportunities for the future?

Do you have ideas you want to share for 2015?

Please feel free to share them with me at I may not be able to reply individually, but I can promise to read every message personally.

In the meantime, best wishes for the holidays and the New Year. Thank you for all you do on behalf of people living with mental illness and their families!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Thank you very much for supporting NAMIWalks this year! We hope you have a HAPPY & SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON with Your Family and Friends! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The 2015 Spring National Walk Manager Training was a Success!

This past weekend (Nov. 7th - Nov. 9th) the National NAMIWalks Team hosted the 2015 Spring Walk Manager Training (WMT) for all the spring Walk Managers around the country. The Training, held in Las Vegas, was a wonderful event! We had three full days of sessions on how to successfully manage a NAMIWalk -- from raising funds to promoting the event to engaging participants! After completing the intense training, the Walk Managers were excited and ready to go home and start working on their upcoming events! We heard from many of our veteran Walk Managers that it was the best WMT they have ever attended!

Spring Walk Managers dressed in shirts that represented the location of their NAMIWalks.
We were very fortunate to have Hakeem Rahim as our keynote speaker. Mr. Rahim, became an advocate for issues around mental illness in 2012. Since then he has testified in front of Congress, been featured in USA Today and has shared his journey with over 7,000 students. He is a certified NAMI In Our Own Voice speaker and NAMI Queens/Nassau Let's Talk Mental Illness presenter. In addition, he is also a member of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance's National Board.

Mr. Rahim spoke of his experiences and the importance of engaging the community to get involved with NAMIWalks, NAMI and mental health advocacy. His remarks inspired everyone in attendance!

Hakeem Rahim addressing the Walk Managers.
Hakeem Rahim showing his support of NAMIWalks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pictures of Fall 2014 NAMIWalks

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some photos from Fall 2014 NAMIWalks!

NAMIWalks Northern Virginia 

NAMIWalks Northern Virginia 

NAMIWalks New Hampshire 

NAMIWalks New Hampshire

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County

NAMIWalks Butler County

NAMIWalks Butler County

NAMIWalks Moultrie

NAMIWalks Moultrie

NAMIWalks Waukesha

NAMIWalks Waukesha
NAMIWalks Hawaii

NAMIWalks Hawaii

NAMIWalks Hawaii

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Enjoy Our NEW Walk Coaching Videos!

We have recently filmed new coaching videos to help you, Team Captains and walkers, learn new ways to raise funds and build awareness through your NAMIWalks efforts. The videos are short, but they are full of great information on a variety of topics! Take some time to watch them and let us know what you think! Click Here to view the videos!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

The National NAMIWalks Team wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day! We hope you enjoy time with your loved ones over the holiday weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Putting FUN in FUNdraising!

As a Team Captain and/or walker have you thought about FUN ways to build Teams and/or to raise funds this year? Of course you can ask someone to join your Team and/or donate to you the traditional ways – face-to-face, email, over the phone, online social networks. However, have you thought about using your talents for out of the box ways to engage people?

Here are some FUN ideas that you can do as an individual walker or as a Walk Team:

  • Rock On! If you know musicians, ask them to perform a benefit concert at a backyard BBQ, block party, or local club. The admission ticket is a check made payable to NAMIWalks.
  • Birthday: In lieu of a gift for your birthday, ask your friends and family to make a donation to NAMIWalks through your personal NAMIWalks website.
  • Gym: Ask your gym if you, or they, can teach an aerobics, yoga, or spinning class as a benefit to NAMIWalks.
  • House Party: Host a house party for friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Share your experience with NAMIWalks and your reasons for walking. Ask them to join your Team.
  • Make holiday ornaments: Make special ornaments and sell them for donations.
  • Mow-a-thon: Hold a neighborhood mow-a-thon weekend where you and your family will mow everyone’s lawn for a minimum donation.
  • Runner: Offer to be a friend’s errand runner or personal assistant for a day, in exchange for a substantial donation.
  • Garden Tour: Hold a garden tour at your home or at a local historical home.

Building Teams and raising funds should be an exciting experience! Now that you've read these ideas, I hope you will use one or think of something creative and inventive that you and/or your Team will do!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

And the Winner of the "Best Spring NAMIWalk Photo Contest" is...

The NAMIWalks Team is excited to announce that Christina Antos won the "Best Spring NAMIWalk Photo Contest"! Her picture received 92 "Likes" on the NAMIWalks' Facebook page! Congratulations Christina!!! We also want to thank all the individuals who submitted wonderful pictures!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

There is Nothing Like a Picture!

There is nothing like a picture to tell a story! Here are pictures that were taken at NAMIWalk Arkansas, NAMIWalk Delaware, NAMIWalk Mid-Carolina, NAMIWalk Mobile, NAMIWalk South Dakota, & NAMIWalk St. Louis. Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2014

NAMIWalks Photo Contest!

We want to see the best picture (horizontal) you took at a 2014 Spring NAMIWalk! Submit one photo that perfectly captured the event to The National Walk Team will select the top two photos and then post them on the NAMIWalks' Facebook page. The photo that receives the most "likes" will become the cover photo for the page and win a prize! Please only send one high quality picture. Any photos received after the first submission will not be considered. By submitting a picture, you are giving NAMIWalks the permission and rights to use the photo on the NAMIWalks' Facebook page, website, blog, and any other print/electronic marketing pieces. Photos must be received by 5:00 PM EST on Friday, July 11.

Monday, May 19, 2014

And the Winner of the "Why I Walk" Video Contest is...

The NAMIWalks Team is excited to announce that Karly Lent won the "Why I Walk" Video Contest! Her video received 64 "Likes" on the NAMIWalks' Facebook page! Congratulations Karly!!! We also want to thank all the individuals who submitted videos! They were all fantastic!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Why I Walk" Video Contest

NAMIWalks is hosting a "Why I Walk" Video Contest for all participants of a NAMIWalk to enter! This is a FUN and creative way for you to show why and how you support NAMI and NAMIWalks! Please watch the video for the contest rules and information!

Release your creative juices and film a video today!!! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheons

The NAMIWalks Team has been busy attending Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon (KOL) events around the country. The KOL, usually held 6 to 8 weeks before Walk Day, is a training session for registered and potential Team Captains. Team Captains learn innovative ways to raise funds, as well as receive the tools needed to form successful Walk Teams. Although the event is focused on training, we still manage to make the KOL FUN! Below are some pictures of KOL events! To view more photos, please Like the NAMIWalks' Facebook Page and see the 2014 Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheons album! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Enter NAMIWalks' Design Contest!

Are you a professional graphic designer/illustrator/artist or just a person who likes to draw for FUN? Well NAMIWalks would love to see your work and enter you into our Design Contest! The winner will receive $500 and the opportunity to illustrate our nationally distributed graphic magazine! You don't want to miss this opportunity! See the flyer for details!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What’s a Walk Recognition Information Meeting (RIM)?

Since the inception of the NAMIWalks model, each NAMIWalk has included 4 events – Walk Information Meeting (WIM), Team Captain Kick-Off Luncheon (KOL), Walk Day, and Post/Thank You Event. Over the course of the years, some of our Walk locations have combined their WIMs and the Post/Thank You Events, so we, the National Walk Team, decided to give this combined event a name (Walk Recognition Information Meeting – RIM) and make it part of our model. Now, all of our Walk locations have the opportunity to host 3 events instead of the traditional 4 events.

The Walk Recognition Information Meeting officially closes the current Walk Season and opens the new Walk Season! The Walk Manager will recap the success of the current Walk Season – he/she will discuss how much was raised, how the funds were used, recognize Walk Sponsors, and present awards to top walkers and Walk Team Captains. 

After wrapping up the current Walk Season, he/she will officially open the new Walk Season! The person will announce the date/location of the Walk, event goal(s), anything new they are planning for the event (a theme, entertainment, etc.), sponsors that have already committed to supporting the Walk, and information about sponsoring and/or volunteering for the event. 

This is a FUN event for the community that includes light fare and drinks! Volunteer sign-up sheets and sponsorship brochures are distributed at the event. Computers are set up, so people can register to lead a Walk Team, register as an individual walker, and/or make a donation.   

So, if you receive an invitation to a Walk Recognition Information Meeting, you now know what it is and what to expect when you attend!